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Fox Sports has hired former NFL quarterback Michael Vick to serve as their newest NFL studio analyst. The former dogfighter will appear on Fox NFL Kickoff, which runs in the hour before the network’s signature pregame show, Fox NFL Sunday in addition to appearances on cable channel FS1 throughout the week.
Few names invoke the same immediate, visceral reactions from dog lovers around the country as Michael Vick, who served 18-months of a 23-month prison sentence after he was found guilty of bankrolling a dog-fighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels. In his guilty plea, Vick admitted to helping kill 6 to 8 dogs. While Vick’s supporters claim he “did his time,” he has faced no charges of animal cruelty or served a single day in jail for his part in the torture and murder of any dogs.
Yet, somehow, the admitted dog killer is faring better than ever.
In addition to tens of millions in football salaries, Vick has, in the 10 years since his conviction garnered product endorsement deals, BET’s Sportsman of the Year Award, induction into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, a successful clothing line, a bestselling book, and now a high-profile sports analyst position at Fox Sports.
Earlier this month, more than 200,000 animal lovers signed petitions urging Virginia Tech President Tim Sands to revoke Vick’s induction into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame. But, despite backlash, Vick will still be honored in a ceremony in late September.
Now, a petition to Fox Sports President, COO, and Executive Producer Eric Shanks has already been signed by tens of thousands of compassionate animal lovers hoping to thwart Vick’s new position at the sports channel.
The petition reads, in part, “We are asking that you remove Michael Vick from his position as an analyst at FOX Sports. While we believe in second chances and that convicted felons should be able to acquire gainful employment, we do not believe that Michael Vick is repentant and as such, he should not hold a position of influence. He has never inquired as to how his fighting dogs fared after leaving his property nor did he offer any type of financial assistance to aid in their care outside his court-mandated fine. In fact, he served an abbreviated sentence for racketeering, not animal cruelty.”
In addition, petitioners vow to boycott Fox Sports and their sponsors until his position with the channel is terminated.